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APAC – The Cyprus Institute Andreas Pittas Art
Characterization Laboratories, The Cyprus Institute.

Location: Nicosia, Cyprus
Contact: Sorin Hermon (

The Andreas Pittas Art Characterization Laboratories (APAC Labs) at the Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center (STARC) of The Cyprus Institute (CyI) pursue key inquiries, research problems and innovative approaches in art history, archaeology and cultural heritage, through the application of advanced science and technology. The APAC Labs commenced its full operational capacity in 2019. The infrastructure consolidated knowledge, expertise and instrumentation acquired under EU funded project STARLAB (2010-2015), a self-contained mobile laboratory with facilities for digital data acquisition, geophysics, data processing, archaeometry and data archiving, for research and analysis, documentation, conservation and preservation of cultural heritage. Moving beyond the confines of a state-of-the-art lab, APAC further expanded towards Art Characterization research and embraced a holistic approach to art characterization possible through cross-disciplinary scientific exchange that is driven by broad inquiries in art history and the humanities.

Integrating expertise in art and humanities, digital heritage, informatics, visualization, and physico-chemical analyses, the development of an interdisciplinary research pipeline, based on portable and bench instrumentation, aims at the digital, imaging and analytical investigation of works of art, archaeological artefacts, monuments and sites. The multidisciplinary data archiving and management through semantic solutions complete the Cultural Heritage pipeline developed at the APAC Labs. The infrastructure relies on a broad, multi-scale and non-invasive diagnostics approach that integrates physico-chemical methods with reflectography, multi-spectral imaging and surface 2D imaging and 3D geometric characterization. Specifically, APAC Labs operate state-of-the-art instrumentation in digital microscopy, spectroscopy point analysis, technical and multi-spectral imaging and high-accuracy 3D documentation and analysis. Acquired data are archived in digital knowledge repositories for reuse in science and innovation, developed in the context of DIOPTRA: The Edmée Leventis Digital Library for Cypriot Culture, with the support of CyI’s High Performance Computing (HPC) facility.

The establishment of APAC Labs builds on the collaboration of the STARC of the Cyprus Institute with the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF). The APAC laboratories’ research is part of key European initiatives on Cultural Heritage and Heritage Science, such as ERIHS and IPERION-HS. Through the Cyprus Institute APAC participates in several European projects, the most recent being ARIADNE, 4CH, ANCHISE and ARCHE.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure:

APAC Labs offers a research pipeline that integrates art & humanities and archaeology with heritage sciences and digital technologies to support the productive dialogue between different disciplines and fields of expertise. Operating within the broader scope of the STARC and CyI’s research facilities, APAC Labs provide a broad approach to Art & Humanities, pursuing: Research, to advance the effective use of heritage science and technology in the characterization and analysis of works of art, monuments and archaeological material. Innovation, to develop task-specific service protocols related to material characterization, provenance and state of preservation, identification of works of art and heritage artefacts. Training and Education, through workshops and seminars of experts in science & technology for art & humanities and archaeology, dedicated to students, professionals, and stakeholders.

The infrastructure provided by the APAC Labs and its research environment offers the development of research methods, theories and workflows in a cross-disciplinary framework. That allows the possibility of implementing a first training for the creation of science & technology based investigation of artefacts, including analytical, imaging and 3D methods (diagnostic and characterization methods based on non-invasive and non-destructive approaches), covering aspects of data collection, processing, post-processing, archiving in semantic-aware environments (digital twin) and web-based publication.

Furthermore, the experience in the conservation and preservation of Cultural Heritage through the application of science and technology (e.g., 4CH project), allows the creation of a further learning activity related to the assessment of vulnerability of monuments and sites based on risk assessment of existing natural and anthropogenic hazards thanks to the development of HBIM solutions where environmental data is aligned with materiality and shape of structures, for instance for the study of the effects of climate change on cultural heritage. APAC Labs participates in a variety of training, research activities and projects, organising and implementing workshops for students and researchers, professionals, national and international stakeholders. In the last years, it hosted COST Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs), such as the Underground4Value COST for the valorisation of Underground Built Heritage, ERASMUS Projects trainings for learning & teaching in archaeology through science and technology (e.g., Eurotech, Editor), and it is one of the SEADDA STSM Host Institutions for building domain ontology, 3D data repositories, and integration of multi-disciplinary archaeological data. Since its establishment, and before within STARLAB and STARC, the APAC Labs, beyond several European countries (e.g., Italy, Sweden, Greece, the Netherlands, and Belgium), attracted and hosted visits, students and trainees from the EMME region, such Israel, Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt, due to its geographical position.

Within the MSc and PhD degrees established at the CyI, the APAC Labs attract and host students as well as internships opportunities, Erasmus exchanges for students and professionals, and temporary residencies for study and education.


We offer expertise that covers the entire process of 3D documentation of archaeological sites, heritage monuments, artefacts, heritage assets and works of art, from data acquisition to processing, post-processing, archival, analysis and interpretation to browser-based publication. The training covers operating the instrumentation and the various software packages. Additional training relates to the integration of 3D data with analytical data (spectroscopy, hyper-spectral imaging, etc.) for a comprehensive characterisation of the materiality, techniques of manufacture and conservation conditions of heritage assets.